Parliament passed three separate resolutions on Thursday condemning the grave violations of human rights and the violence perpetrated against Rohingya Muslims in Burma/Myanmar; calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Ilgar Mammadov in Azerbaijan; and expressing its serious concerns about the recent repressive laws and their arbitrary enforcement in Russia.
Jobs for young people, social investment responses to economic crisis and the architecture of European Monetary Union were the key issues debated by MEPs, the Council Presidency and the Commission President on Wednesday, in the run-up to the European summit on 27 and 28 June. Decisions are being taken, but not put into effect, MEPs stressed. Parliament summarized the key issues in three resolutions voted after the debate.
Two years on, the European External Action Service (EEAS) cannot be expected to be fully functional. Yet more can be done to improve its coordination with the Commission and the Council, political leadership, visibility and accountability, MEPs said in a vote on Thursday. In their input to this summer's review of the EU's new diplomatic corps, they also call for a sharper focus on strategic planning and crisis response delivery.
MEPs call on the EU to take the lead in ensuring the protection of journalists worldwide and in promoting freedom of religion or belief without harming other freedoms or rights, in two separate resolutions passed on Thursday.
MEPs are deeply concerned at the disproportionate and excessive use of force by Turkish police to break up peaceful and legitimate protests in Istanbul's Gezi Park. In a resolution voted by a show of hands on Thursday, they warn against the use of harsh measures against peaceful protesters and said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan must take a unifying and conciliatory position.
The pace of financial services sector reform is too slow - delays cause uncertainty, which holds up sustainable economic growth and job creation, says Parliament in a resolution voted on Thursday. MEPs blame EU countries and to some extent the European Commission for delays, many of over a year, in turning their words into deeds.
Large extractive companies dealing with oil, gas and minerals and loggers of primary forests will be obliged to disclose full details of their payments to national governments for every project that they operate, under new legislation approved by Parliament on Wednesday. The aim is to make companies dealing with strategic resources and governments more accountable.
In the 2014 European elections 12 EU member states will each lose one seat and none will gain any, under a draft decision endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. These reductions are needed in order to comply with the 751-seat limit set by the Lisbon Treaty and to make room for Croatia's MEPs.
New rules laying down common procedures and deadlines for handling asylum applications and basic rights for asylum seekers arriving in the EU were endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The Common European Asylum System will also stop transfers of asylum seekers to member states unable to ensure decent living conditions for them.
Freedom of movement within the Schengen area will be better protected thanks to MEPs' input to the new Schengen governance rules. Inspection teams will in future be able to make unannounced visits to internal borders to halt any attempt to impose illegal checks. Free movement is the most positive outcome of 50 years of EU integration, said 62% of respondents to a recent Eurobarometer survey.